Mental Health Day: The Basics
Updated: Oct 11
Every year, world mental health day is celebrated and acknowledged on the 10th of October. This is done with the primary objective to raise awareness and sensitization of mental health issues, proffer solutions and support to people around the globe with mental health issues.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is a state of mental wellbeing, including emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.
Understanding the concept of mental health helps us understand the way our thoughts, feelings and behaviors affect our lives. It enables people to cope with the stress of life, realize their abilities, learn and work well, and contribute to society.
Mental health is a part of every human being's life from their childhood, to adolescence and to adulthood, and good mental health goes a long way in the development of each stage of one's life.
Why is Mental Health Important?
1. Stress control and management.
2. Better social relationships.
4. Higher life expectancy.
5. Good health and wellbeing.
Types of Mental Health Conditions
There are various types of mental health conditions, including;
Anxiety disorders: Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness, worry, or fear that can be accompanied by physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, and trembling. It is a normal and common human emotion, but when it becomes excessive or persistent, it can interfere with daily life and be classified as an anxiety disorder.
Mood disorders (such as depression and bipolar disorder): A 'mood' is the emotional state of mind and feeling of a person at a particular time. A mood disorder is a type of mental disorder that affects the overall mood of a person. It is characterized with incessant changes in attitude, overwhelming emotions, a lack of control, disorientation and anger.
Personality disorders: Personality disorders are a group of mental disorders which affect the way a person thinks, feels and behaves, such as Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Personality disorder affects various aspects of an individual such as relationships with self and others, including family, friends, the opposite gender and strangers and work life.
Psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia): This mental health condition is characterized with the loss of touch with reality. People going through this mental health issue may experience hallucinations, delusions, among others.
Eating disorders (such as anorexia, and bulimia): Eating disorders are characterized with nutrition, food and the perception of one's body image.
Substance use disorders: This is a state whereby substances like medications are abused or used without prescriptions to the extent of classifying it as an addiction.
The signs and symptoms vary for various types of mental disorders but a few include, sudden changes in behavior, erratic behavior, a change in sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, extreme weight loss or gain, persistent sadness, a loss of interest in activities. In a case where someone is experiencing a mental health condition it is advisable to seek professional healthcare assistance.
Increased sensitization on the awareness of mental health conditions in every nook and cranny of the world should be prioritized, so that everyone is properly and extensively informed about it. This is to preclude persons suffering from mental health conditions from being victimized.
We must take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. A good mental health means a better person, and an even better society. Taking care of our mental health not only benefits us as individuals, but it also has a positive impact on our relationships, communities, and society as a whole. When we prioritize our mental well-being, we are better equipped to handle challenges, build healthy relationships, and contribute positively to our communities.
Mental health is indeed a priority, and a universal human right.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, here are a few resources to explore;
Find A Helpline (multiple countries)
Together We Are Strong Helpline Directory (multiple countries)
Emergency Mental Health Resources (multiple countries)
Mental Health Helplines Directory (multiple countries)
Safe in Our World Mental Healthline (multiple countries)
Euro Youth Mental Health Lines (multiple countries)
To take care of your mental health, ensure you spend time and stay connected with loved ones, express your thoughts, journaling is a great start, have a healthy sleep routine, prioritize your self care and self care activities, attend therapy sessions.
WRITTEN BY Sharon Eseoghene Ogbuehi.
Sharon Eseoghene Ogbuehi is a law undergraduate at the University of Benin City, Nigeria. She is a writer, a lover of literature, a baker, and a cook. She is interested in humanitarianism, politics, human rights, the rights of women and children, etc. Want to connect with Sharon? Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or connect with her on Linkedin!
EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed, bibliophile, and lawyer passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities.
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